TAPS RUN AND REMEMBER TEAM: HONORING OUR FALLEN MILITARY SATURDAY AT THE SEATTLE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MARATHON & HALF MARATHON Surviving Families Run to Honor Our Fallen Military, Raise Awareness and Funds for TAPS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 20, 2012
SEATTLE- For a special group of runners participating in the Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday, June 23, every step is laced with memories and honors those who’ve paid the ultimate price in service to country. Many of the runners are family members of our fallen military heroes. The funds raised by the runners will help the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the national organization that has provided comfort and care to more than 35,000 people grieving the deaths of America’s fallen military heroes and caregivers assisting them since 1994.
Spectators on the course are encouraged to cheer for the TAPS runners, who wear distinctive red, white, and blue singlets and carry photos of the fallen service members they run to remember on the backs of their shirts. Runners to watch:
Ashley Martin, of Tacoma, Wash., and Amber Martin, of Yukon, Okla., will run the half marathon to remember Ashley’s husband and Amber’s brother, Army Staff Sgt. Jack M. Martin III. He died September 29, 2009 in the Philippines while deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom when an improvised explosive device detonated. Ashley previously ran the Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll marathon with her husband before he died so this is a special race for her. Ashley said, “He helped me to train for this race and we crossed the finish line together just before he left on his last deployment. His belief in me made me stronger. His love gives me inspiration. The connection I have found with survivors through TAPS has helped me to find inspiration and strength in Jack's absence. My "TAPS family" has become a powerful & transformative presence in my life.”
Sara Werner Clark, of Bellingham, Wash., will run the half marathon to remember her husband, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael J. Clark, who died in 2004 from enemy action in Iraq. Her daughters, ages 14 and 11, will be cheering her on from the sidelines. She said, “Not a day has gone by that we don't love him, miss him and talk about him. It's been amazing to me on this journey to see how intense a love can stay, despite now years of distance between us. I am equally amazed to know so many people step up near and far to assist and support our little family. TAPS has proven to be an invaluable source of comfort and support to us.”
Michelle Bartz, of Bellingham, Wash., will run the half marathon to remember her husband, Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz who died May 18, 2010 in Afghanistan.
Tegan Johnson, of Spokane, Wash., will run the half marathon to remember her father Air Force Technical Sergeant Robert Johnson who died August 7, 2002 in Puerto Rico in a military plane crash. Tegan was only 14 years old at the time of her father’s death. Tegan said, “I am also running in honor of all the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country. I cannot think of a better organization to help raise funds and bring awareness to than TAPS. It is such a great organization that helps families through such a hard time, just like my mom, sister and I greatly needed.”
Erin Jacobson, of Seattle, Wash., will run the half marathon to remember her fiancé, Army Corporal Jason Kessler who died July 30, 2007 when a rocket propelled grenade struck his tactical vehicle in Iraq.
Frances Erb, of Peachtree City, Ga., will run the marathon to remember her son, Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Addabbo who died May 30, 2009 near Royal Air Force Lakenheath base in England.
More information about the race is available at http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/seattle
About the TAPS Run & Remember Team The TAPS “Run and Remember” team began with two runners, who ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC in 2000. One of them was Marie Campbell, who lost her husband, US Air Force Sergeant Dee “Soup” Campbell, in 1996 when a terrorist bomb took the lives of 19 airmen at the Khobar Towers. Campbell is the director of the TAPS Run and Remember team, and she organizes hundreds of runners around the nation annually who run in memory of our fallen heroes. Get more information about upcoming races and team activities at www.taps.org
About TAPSSince its founding in 1994 by bereaved military families, TAPS has helped more than 35,000 surviving family members and caregivers supporting families coping with a military death. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, connections to community-based care, casualty casework assistance, and a 24/7 resource and information help line for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free resource and information help line at 800.959.TAPS (8277).
Media Contact for TAPS: Ami Neiberger-Miller, office 202.588.8277, email@example.com
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc., Tax ID# 92-01522683033 Wilson Blvd. Suite 630, Arlington, VA 22201
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